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Copyright Business

The other side of the copyright story - the so-called 'new business models' - receives far less attention at a policy level than the enforcement measures. The industry lobbying is overweight with recommendations for way s that governments can impose restrictions in order to protect copyright material. Conversely, the debate is less about how changing a business model can overcome the issues around the online dissemination of infringing content.

This issue has, of course, moved on a lot since I began this blog in 2008. Streaming has become the music industry's favoured business model, and streaming services like Spotify have blossomed. This has shifted the landscape. However, it is historically true that each time a new technology appears, the industries that have vested interests in copyright, increase the intensity of their lobbying. It is important for those engaged in copyright policy, to keep an eye on new developments and understand their implications and the opportunities for new ways to structure the entertainment and music businesses.

In this section, I have been logging information about the business of copyright. The idea is to begin to get a feel for the financial issues of the copyright industries and how to link them to policy decisions. Thus, it may seem a bit disjointed and sketchy, but it may provide threads for further investigation and to see where it leads. My feeling is that what policy-makers should not be asking is 'how big a problem is the downloading of copyrighted content?' but rather, 'what are the real problems in the copyright business?'. and not 'how can we protect copyrights?' but rather 'how can we achieve revenues for the copyright industries in the online environment?'

Oh-o-oh, no more re-winds as the music industry begins a love-affair with streaming.

2012 was a tipping point for the music industry, when streamed music from services such as Spotify, finally demonstrated their economic potential. Indeed, the latest figures released by the British recorded music industry, otherwise known as the BPI, suggest that it is finally getting to grips with an Internet business model. So what does this mean for the future of copyright policy? Here are a few comments on the numbers, plus a review of Spotify for policy-makers.

Read more: Will Spotify build the copyright star?

London and Paris offices affected, as well as New York. And some curious downloading going on in the European Parliament.

Universal Music, which lobbies for enforcement measures against peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, has been caught with its proverbial pants down. Statistics on Bit Torrent usage, made available by the anti-piracy surveillance company, ScanEye, and uncovered by TorrentFreak, reveal the possibility of P2P downloading within the offices of copyright industry companies. For example, the data links certain downloaded files of copyrighted television programmes to the London and Paris offices of Universal Music.

Read more: Universal Music caught in its own trap

When petitioning politicians for tougher enforcement measures, Disney Corporation will assure them that the motion picture industry is bleeding to death. Internet piracy, they will say, must be stopped in order to prevent the strangulation of the creative industries and protect the jobs of those who work in them. Hollywood is pretty good at foretelling its own death when there is a politician in the frame.

So it is curious that Hollywood's greatest corporation can now find a whopping $4 billion to buy out one of its competitors. For Disney Corporation is indeed

Read more: 'Bleeding' Disney forks out $4 billion for Star Wars

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review